Upstaging Modi or BJP is easier said than done
The selections are on.
The selections are on. The national level competitions are still away. But, several top notch players are already competing fiercely for a place in the final round. Mamata Didi, Rahul Gandhi and K Chandrasekhar Rao are already there in the line-up and now Arvind Kerjiwal too seems to have cast the dice. The more the merrier for the BJP. Aam Aadmi Party's entry into the fray should queer the pitch further for the anti-BJP Opposition in the country that is trying to upstage Narendra Modi in 2024 general elections. However, trouncing Modi or the BJP who have consolidated their majority vote is easier said than done. The reasons are not far to seek.
The outcome of elections depends upon several factors. A strong and charismatic leadership, well-oiled election machinery, highly trained booth committees, a strong cadre line-up and unwavering commitment of the voters are essential for a win. Mamata seemingly is strong in her own bastion. She is the best bet for the minorities in Bengal. But, the cut-money culture and the systematic loot that Mamata allowed to be perfected by her party leaders may deal a blow to her ambitions sometime later. She is increasingly being perceived as anti-Hindu and perceptions play a dangerous part in damaging one's reputation. For that matter, even in this matter she has already taken a blow with two of her strongmen in custody of the investigating agencies and many more being investigated under court directions.
As for Chandrasekhar Rao, the warning signs are all evident and he too might invite the wrath of certain agencies in near future. The BJP has turned its attention to Telangana more than any in the South and that is no good news for him. One could always bank on victimhood to some extent, but people in general know that honesty is a rare commodity nowadays and with several big ticket projects coming up in the state and real estate turning into goldmines, very few would resist the temptation to dirty their hands.
Mamata and Chandrasekhar Rao, though playing a limited or no role as of now in national politics, know their limitations and are desperate to project themselves as the alternative. Kejriwal is a loose cannon. Whatever may be his reading of his strength in Delhi, the voters have opted for his party only at the local level. Majority of the Delihites, in the past, have chosen him to be the Chief Minister and voted for Modi in the Lok Sabha elections. He may have become more ambitious with his win in Punjab (where his government is again a product of Hobson's choice) but there is little to suggest that the entire Opposition would rally behind him.
Discord is palpable amongst the Opposition and no single leader is acceptable to the others despite the 'threat of Modi to the democratic fabric'. It would be unfair to Rahul Gandhi and his party if someone is projected as a united Opposition's face for the top post. After all, Congress is the only national party in its truest sense. It is a cacophonous Opposition where all these leaders are shouting in allays and pockets of the country in different tones and tenors. Each is selling his ware but none anything 'national' (in scale). Social or foreign media cannot bring them to power and the so-called liberal, secular and bollywood voices don't help them much. In fact, these often strengthen the BJP and its core agenda.